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Effect of catalyst layer on morphology and optical properties of zinc-oxide nanostructures fabricated by carbothermal evaporation method

Effect of catalyst layer on morphology and optical properties of zinc-oxide nanostructures fabricated by carbothermal evaporation method

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Zinc-oxide nanostructures were synthesised by carbothermal evaporation of ZnO+C at elevated temperatures. Substrates were silicon wafers, and different materials such as SiO2, Al2O3, Au and silica-gel were used as the catalyst layer. Characterisation of morphology by scanning electron microscopy showed that the catalyst layer has a major role in controlling of geometrical shape and dimensions of the resultant nanostructures. The long and narrow nanowires with a regular cross-section were formed on the substrate coated by Au particles. On the substrate coated by silica-gel, the authors achieved the capillary microtubes with the hexagonal cross-section, nanometre-thick walls and also radial sheets inside them. Such nanostructures are believed to be reported for the first time. The electro-optical specifications of the samples were investigated by measurement of their optical absorption spectra using ultraviolet/visible (UV/VIS) spectrophotometry. Determination of the optical band gap from Tauc's plot showed that, in contrary to different shapes, the samples have identical band gap energy. This phenomenon revealed that the optical behaviour of the nanostructures grown by the proposed method does not depend to their morphology.

Inspec keywords: nanowires; optical constants; wide band gap semiconductors; energy gap; electro-optical effects; ultraviolet spectra; nanofabrication; scanning electron microscopy; catalysis; zinc compounds; semiconductor growth; spectrophotometry; II-VI semiconductors; visible spectra; evaporation

Other keywords: nanometre-thick walls; Au particles; zinc-oxide nanostructures; long nanowire; catalyst layer; SiO2; regular cross-section; Al2O3; Si; silicon wafers; silica-gel; narrow nanowire; ZnO; electrooptical specifications; hexagonal cross-section; geometrical shape; ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry; SEM; optical behaviour; optical properties; scanning electron microscopy; optical band gap; carbothermal evaporation method; geometrical dimensions; Tauc's plot; band gap energy; optical absorption spectra; radial sheets; Au; capillary microtubes

Subjects: Optical constants and parameters (condensed matter); Methods of nanofabrication and processing; Low-dimensional structures: growth, structure and nonelectronic properties; Nanometre-scale semiconductor fabrication technology; Surface states, surface band structure, surface electron density of states; Optical properties of II-VI and III-V semiconductors (thin films/low-dimensional structures); Electron states in low-dimensional structures; Electro-optical effects (condensed matter); II-VI and III-V semiconductors; Heterogeneous catalysis at surfaces and other surface reactions; Liquid-vapour transitions; Visible and ultraviolet spectra of II-VI and III-V semiconductors; Structure of solid clusters, nanoparticles, nanotubes and nanostructured materials

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